by Curtis James McConnell
I tell you now, it is love which binds us.
Using simple blackhole physics, we shall prove this.
Whether you are too cool, manly, cynical or intellectual to believe this, it is so.
It is love which binds us.
It binds us so thoroughly that love and life are actually the same word. Some cultures explain god with the words, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God." That word is in fact this life-love word that is the same word, the same definition, the same existence.
Every culture has a Lover's Leap, that Well of Woe where star-crossed lovers can seal their love and their fate with the same kiss. This is because human comprehension, desperate to rejoin that life-love, equates death with life. Wanting love to last forever and knowing that life does not, the young lovers abide in death instead.
They cannot accept that love abides and they, by design, do not. For them, since they cannot know that it is love which binds us, it is death which at least binds us to love.
Appropriately enough, in the constellation Aphrodite, there is a small planet, Faloop, which gives perhaps the ultimate example of this.
Faloop itself is star-crossed. It does not orbit its star, Vergagne. Vergagne used to swirl in a dizzying cosmic deathdance around a nameless, voracious star. That star consumed so much of Vergagne's mass that it collapsed into a black hole.
For Vergagne and this black hole, it is death which binds them. The black hole's gravity is so immense, so intense, that it unravels Vergagne's very matter in a speeding spiral like a star-sized skein of cosmic yarn.
With less than three thousand years before the skein of its sun unravels into non-existence, Faloop has become a culture of death.
For the people of Faloop, it is death which is their planet's inevitable end. Faloop does not orbit Vergagne. It used to. For now it whirls in a type of interstellar eddy, its orbital trajectory confined as by the walls of a maze between two segments of the spiral coil of streaming matter which swirls into the black holes bottomless maw.
There, as in an inescapable chute leading to the galaxy's largest slaughterhouse, doomed Faloop spins.
Yet so thoroughly does love bind us that we must find a mate whose hand we can hold while we face that death which awaits. Mortality, which stalks not just the Faloopizens but literally their entire world, only amplifies this love.
Faloop has very low gravity. It is also within close range of two superintensified gravity streams, those coils of the cosmic spiral, accelerating into the black hole with inconceivable speed. Anyone who so desires can readily acquire a boat, escape Faloop's gravity, skid into a plasmatic matter/gravity stream, and defeat Faloop in that race to death, odious death -- that coiled, blackened Realm Dark and Beyond.
Yet, that love which binds us asserts itself as inexorably as adulthood upon their children.
For many of the children of this foredoomed and defiant world, marriage no longer exists. With less than three millenia left, there is no time for it. They are as impatient and possessive as the voracious black hole which, as if sensing the brevity of Vergagne's remaining time, depletes their star at accelerated rates of tons per microsecond. All can sense, can almost see, the dwindling decades closing down.
Though the captain of a ship can marry earnest lovers swept up in the romance of it all, if that ship is sinking, eloping into a lifeboat becomes infinitely more romantic.
"Will you marry me and grow old with me" is antiquated, quaint, unacceptable to those who can't really see themselves growing old, much less their entire planet. There's no chance, no time, no justification.
All is death, all bound up in the cloth of death. Love itself must don a shroud. So "will you marry me and grow old with me" is abandoned for that which is so much more practical, and thus romance itself is redefined.
For Faloopizens, the most loving, romantic, and above all satisfactory question has become, "Will you kiss me for forever?"
For you see, the cold, hard Falooptic Science, which not only prophesied their doom but anointed it as manifest, taught Faloopizens about the peculiar physics of a black hole's event horizon.
Ruthless and unsentimental, Science demands that the photons (which make up the quarks which make up the atoms which make us up) be expressible as information. Once matter crosses the event horizon, the black hole's gravity is so overwhelming that not even light can escape. That gravity is so inconceivably immense that it not only bends space, but time, the four "directions" of space-time.
Time itself and all the matter (expressible as information) cannot escape. Since no information can escape, there can be no "updates." Instead, the matter and time are smeared about the nucleus of the black hole, smeared into the thinnest of infinities. One moment extends forever.
But how can an infinity of time be contained in a single, a less than single, and for all practical purposes a non-existent moment? It is, in scientific fact, a zero moment, containing an infinity of information.
Thus we have the sentence that not only is a Falooptic proverb, but has become the entirety of Falooptic philosophy and theology:
Black holes are what you get when god divides the universe by zero.
Since their technology began to allow it, thousands of Faloopizens have disappeared over the event horizon. Less, but still thousands, took the journey as pairs with one asking the other, "Will you kiss me for forever?"
The idea is, if they can time it right, and are kissing as their minuscule boat crosses that event horizon, they, all their knowledge and all of their sensation and all of their entire existence will be smeared across infinity, alive and yet completely unchanging, forever.
Of those thousands, how many succeeded?
Let us use a galactic understatement to put things into perspective.
It is a challenge to sync up a kiss with a moment of infinity.
The probability of it approaches zero. Like the Zero Moment itself, for all practical purposes, the probability is also zero.
And zero divided by the thousands who tried equals...
That's how many succeed. Thousands of would-be kissers ended up divided by zero.
Before you regard this as a pity, think also of this.
Each one of those Faloopizens was conceived. When male and female are joined, at that moment the soul enters that union and the being begins TO BE. It is a One, a living soul.
Individually, the cells existed, but until the life enters it (and remember, life and love are the same word, the same thing, the same existence), they are merely matter existing in the material world. With life-love, the Living Soul becomes a One.
It is possible to chill a gallon of water to temperatures well below freezing. The water is still liquid. It remains liquid as long as it remains still. Yet, a disruption literally as small as a snowflake can in practically an instant transform every molecule of water into a frozen state.
It is the same with a cell the moment before conception. Life-love can transform inert matter into a life-love BEING, all at once, instantly.
Though it doesn't appear so, this is also cold, hard, scientific fact.
Zero Faloopizens succeeded in timing their kiss right. However, at the exact zero moment when one Soul was animating itself, it crossed the event horizon.
At that moment, the Lover's Leap became a quantum leap. The thousands in their infinitely smeared moment were no longer divided by zero.
They were divided by zero plus One.
Zero plus One equals one.
The simplest of mathematics tells us that anything divided by one is itself.
So, at that moment, each one of the souls became a One. They began being a One.
The black hole, no longer a zero but a (zero plus one), instantly ceased to exist. Both Faloop and Vergagne, filling the dark energy vacuum that used to be the black hole, instantly duplicated themselves. The binary star balance was restored because the life-love that was the One at the instant of existence bound all together. Both Faloops and both Vergagnes happily resumed their mutually satisfying dances of love, abiding and already past infinite.
I tell you again, it is love which binds us.
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<a href="http://www.storiesspace.com/stories/science-fiction/lovers-leap.aspx">Lover's Leap</a>